MARC Pingris' recent game has recently taken an upward turn that makes B-Meg beam, especially coach Tim Cone.
"Ping has been everywhere and anywhere on the court for us this semifinals," said Cone of the hard-working forward tabbed as the Accel-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period July 9 to 15.
Bearing out Cone's statement are the three-game averages of 15.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 blocks Pingris has put up that stoked the Llamados' claim to at least an outright playoff spot for the second Finals slot in the Governors’ Cup.
The rebounds, assists and blocks are already a given to Pingris, who averaged roughly the same in those categories during the nine-game eliminations phase. His points are roughly double, however.
What makes Pingris' recent upswing in the offensive side more impressive is the fact it was done despite the presence in the same team of such better known scorers as James Yap and PJ Simon, not to mention import Marqus Blakely.
"Because Marqus plays such a similar game and has been putting up the big numbers, Ping has been somewhat overlooked," noted Cone. "But his ability to play with such enormous energy and defend and rebound has left a huge imprint on every game we've played and has inspired his teammates."
The No. 3 overall pick in the 2004 Draft coupled his enthusiasm and newfound scoring tenacity the most in a cruising 82-70 win over Barangay Ginebra last Sunday, when he notched game-highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds with four assists.
It was the best scoring night for Pingris the last three seasons, or since he scored a career-high 28 while still with San Miguel Beer in 2008-09 and he gave an inkling of that when he notched 18 points and 10 rebounds in a 104-93 win over Petron Blaze last Wednesday.
The victory came on the heels of a 101-104 loss to the Meralco Bolts just two days before and jacked the Llamados' win-loss slate to 9-4 overall that assured them of a tie for second spot.
Another B-Meg victory over Rain or Shine at the close of the semis Wednesday and the Commissioner's Cup champion is formally on to its second straight Finals stint.